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Dr. Faustus
Feb 18, 2001



I called AT&T with a simple billing question tonight. Once my question was answered the guy started trying very hard to sell me AT&T U-verse. I'd never considered it before.

Right now my HDTV service is DirecTV, about $92/mo. for my old Total Choice package with one HD-DVR and one HD receiver. I have AT&T Fastaccess 6.0, unlimited AT&T LD, home landline with all the features, runs me about $113/mo. I'm happy with the Fastaccess because it is stable and consistent, and I like having a landline because I have never heard VOIP that didn't sound like poo poo and stutter when you are using your Internet connection.

The guy was willing to make me an appointment for installation, waive the installation fee, and even pay me to switch. What?

Looking at the AT&T website I see that there's an 18Mbps down/I think 1Mbps up service available at my location for $65/Mo. 12Mbps for $55. When I add VOIP with unlimited LD the total monthly bill is $99.95.

I did not look at the TV service because I am happy with DirecTV. Wondering if I should re-think that.

So I could go from $113/mo for 6down/728up or whatever to 18down/1+ up, with all the deluxe calling features and unlimited USA LD.

I asked the guy if I would get my own bandwidth, that is not having to compete with an oversold subnet/switch or whatever during peak times. He said it was like DSL, it would be consistent. I need low latency real-time connection for online gaming.
I asked him if there would be bandwidth caps/limits. He said there would not.

BTW I am in the Charlotte, NC area. I rent an apartment. I'm really happy with the services I have now.

I'm looking for feedback from folks in the know. It looks like AT&T wants me to buy this, they will waive installation fees and even pay me to switch. What else do I need to know? What's the downside? Is it really fiber optic to the desktop? Should I jump on this?

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Yoda
Dec 11, 2003

A Jedi I am

I have Uverse TV and Internet (450 and 6mbsp) and I must say it is a godsend compared to comcast. It does have a fiber backbone but it is NOT fiber to the house. Even so I have not really experienced any lag in online gaming (xbox or pc). I don't download a lot or use there phone service so hopefully someone else will have insight to those questions

Tux Racer
Dec 24, 2005


When we had U-Verse, the max down stream for internet was 1 meg. Sometimes the TV signal would cut out for a second when the phone rang, but it wasn't that annoying. That said, if you're happy with DirecTV, there is no reason to switch other than money. U-Verse is a good service, but if you're happy paying what you pay for the services you have, it's to worth it to switch.

Kreeblah
May 17, 2004

INSERT QUACK TO CONTINUE

So, here's the thing. Consumer connections are oversold. All of them. DSL, cable, dial-up, whatever, it doesn't matter. The only difference is how far up the pipe you'll competing for bandwidth with other subscribers at. No matter who you're signed up with, your connection isn't guaranteed, which is why any documents you see about it will say "up to" whatever speed you get. Whether the ISP manages its resources well enough for you to get decent speeds is pretty much going to depend on your location, since local branches vary widely in what they deploy.

That said, since there's U-verse in the area, I'd assume that they've probably just done some upgrades in the area to support it given that it's relatively new. You'd need to talk to the locals with it to know for sure, though.

As far as what it actually is, it's not a fiber connection to your apartment. It's fiber to your neighborhood and plain old copper from there, which doesn't have the same potential for increased bandwidth, but is far cheaper to roll out.

P.S. "Low latency" and "high bandwidth" aren't even remotely the same thing, so don't assume that you'll see lower latency with U-verse over DSL.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


I know almost everything there is to know about AT&T U-Verse. I've had it for since October 2008, and my job has been directly involved with U-Verse since late 2005.

I'll throw some stuff out there, feel free to ask specific questions


Internet: There's no such thing as dedicated bandwidth on the internet. It's all shared at some point along the way. It's very similar to the DSL you have. U-Verse runs on VDSL where you have normal ADSL right now. You have your own 25mbit down/2up connection to the local box, and the local box is fed by fiber of some speed that services the neighborhood.

RE: Latency. U-Verse is an interleaved product. Ping times don't get better than 60 or 70 on this, with pings in the 80's to 90's normal. You can read about the interleaving bitch fest on dslreports.com. Interleaving will raise your pings. Some gamers swear they can tell a difference between 30 and 70 milliseconds. If you're one of them, U-Verse is not for you. There's no way to turn it off, it's not possible, this may be a deal killer for you. Going back to ADSL after switching to U-Verse is almost impossible as well.

TV: Personally I love the TV. There are tons of arguements online about it looking better than some providers and looking worse than others. It looks better than what Time Warner was providing me, so I'm happy. Some fast action shows pixelation, but thats a limit of the encoding they're using. They're compressing things down to a 6mb/s MPEG stream right now. I would sit down and seriously compare the two. If you're a 'videophile' it'll probably bug the poo poo out of you.

The DVR is awesome though, and the UI is beautiful. Short of TiVo it beats anything out there. Whole Home DVR is awesome as well and we couldn't live without it. Super fast channel changes... it's instant. I can program it from an iPhone, my blackberry, the website, and then watch the show in any room in the house. I banish the wife and her reality TV bullshit to the bedroom when I'm playing on the big HDTV. I couldn't do that on cable.

VOIP: I personally don't use the VOIP, but the QoS in the provided router and AT&T's network makes sure it has priority over everything. It's really not that bad.

Another downside is you have to use the provided VDSL gateway/router they provide. It works great for me, I haven't touched it in 2 years. Super geeks that have to run their own version of PFSense box though will probably have a problem with it. You can DMZ your own router for internet traffic if you really want to. The current box is also 10/100 only, no gigabit as of right now.

In my experience U-Verse customers either 100% love the service, or 100% hate it. There's no middle ground. In my opinion if you're happy with your current service, don't change.

d3rt
Jul 11, 2004

Mandate.

Kreeblah posted:

So, here's the thing. Consumer connections are oversold. All of them. DSL, cable, dial-up, whatever, it doesn't matter. The only difference is how far up the pipe you'll competing for bandwidth with other subscribers at. No matter who you're signed up with, your connection isn't guaranteed, which is why any documents you see about it will say "up to" whatever speed you get. Whether the ISP manages its resources well enough for you to get decent speeds is pretty much going to depend on your location, since local branches vary widely in what they deploy.

That said, since there's U-verse in the area, I'd assume that they've probably just done some upgrades in the area to support it given that it's relatively new. You'd need to talk to the locals with it to know for sure, though.

As far as what it actually is, it's not a fiber connection to your apartment. It's fiber to your neighborhood and plain old copper from there, which doesn't have the same potential for increased bandwidth, but is far cheaper to roll out.

P.S. "Low latency" and "high bandwidth" aren't even remotely the same thing, so don't assume that you'll see lower latency with U-verse over DSL.

1. "up to" regarding DSL is due to not only backhaul bandwidth but how long/thick/noisy your copper line is. You can be connected to an exchange with plenty of backhaul but if you have a long or lovely copper line, you will still get a lower speed.

2. Fiber to the Node with a copper line to your abode (VDSL) can increase your bandwidth because if the node is closer to your house than the exchange (or central office as they seem to call it in the USA) and thus you have a shorter copper line, the sync speed goes up therefor higher bandwidth.

Also standard ADSL that ATT have been selling up until u-verse appears to be 'up to' 8mbit which is ADSL1. You can get up to 24mbit which is ADSL2+ type speed. Again all depends on your line quality.

another edit: According to wikipedia, u-verse can also be FTTP (fiber to your house) in some areas which is sweet.

d3rt fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2010 around 02:42

AnnoyBot
May 28, 2001


I've had it in San Jose since it was first available, some time in 2008. I have absolutely no complaints except the DVR only has about 78 seconds (I mean 30 hours) of HD recording capacity and is absolutely not upgradable from what little info I can find.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


d3rt posted:

1. "up to" regarding DSL is due to not only backhaul bandwidth but how long/thick/noisy your copper line is. You can be connected to an exchange with plenty of backhaul but if you have a long or lovely copper line, you will still get a lower speed.

True. With normal DSL they don't care too much about your line, but with U-Verse they test your line and find the best pair possible to go to you. There's been a big push on getting it right the first time lately (as there should be). Early customers were plagued with poor lines and it costs a fortune to roll techs.

quote:

2. Fiber to the Node with a copper line to your abode (VDSL) can increase your bandwidth because if the node is closer to your house than the exchange (or central office as they seem to call it in the USA) and thus you have a shorter copper line, the sync speed goes up therefor higher bandwidth.

This is why AT&T's using it as a stop gap measure instead of FTTP. It's not FIOS, but they're not having to put the capital investment into it like Verizon did. I'm currently on a copper line and this is what my line looks like right now.





quote:

another edit: According to wikipedia, u-verse can also be FTTP (fiber to your house) in some areas which is sweet.
Most new construction is going to be FTTP. I'm moving into a new house next week and I'll be hooked up with FTTP.

Unfortunately AT&T keeps it's products uniform across the service. Even though I'll have a fiber connection I'll only be able to get the same service someone on a copper line would be able to.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


AnnoyBot posted:

I've had it in San Jose since it was first available, some time in 2008. I have absolutely no complaints except the DVR only has about 78 seconds (I mean 30 hours) of HD recording capacity and is absolutely not upgradable from what little info I can find.

There's a couple newer models of DVR out there with a larger hard drive. If you call support they might replace it with a newer one.

This thread here goes over the sizes, and I don't endorse this, but some people are putting in larger ones themselves.

kitten smoothie
Dec 29, 2001



U-Verse customer here in St. Louis. I love it. AT&T was offering double in rebates what it would cost to buy out my DirecTV contract, so I switched.

I'm on their 24/3 internet package and I've had no problem getting close to that speed as advertised:



The DVR is not as good as a TiVo but is light years better than what DirecTV has. My only gripe about it is that I can't set it to only keep X recent episodes of a show (e.g. I only want the last 4 episodes of the Daily Show, and not have to manually delete a backlog if I miss a day or two).

My house was built in 2006 but is not new enough for them to have done FTTP. There's fiber running to a cabinet about 75 yards from my house. The installer wired up an adapter in the telephone interface box and on the side of my house, attached it to the coax pigtail that a cable installer would've used. The DSL signal to the modem comes through the coax, and the same coax is used to feed the set top boxes via HPNA.

They have a number of different ways to do the install, though; a lot of houses they'll use CAT5. It was just easiest for them to use coax in mine, as my office and the two rooms I have TV's all had coax jacks each with a direct line to a splitter in my garage.

kitten smoothie fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2010 around 04:06

KomradeVirtunov
Sep 14, 2007


You know, I have a bit of a U-Verse situation at the moment.

I recently tried to switch to U-Verse from Insight because of all of the crazy rebates they were offering, ran through a few minor hurdles before we hooked up the gateway. Gateway couldn't detect any sort of signal, so the technician would hook up his meter (JDSU) and test the line to see if he could sync. It would sync and test successfully in about 25 seconds, numbers were great even though I'm on the outer limits from the nearest VRAD (3500ft). As soon as he'd hook the modem back up again it wouldn't do a thing. We went through 2 other modems and tested the lines a few times (they tested fine each time). The tech called foul on the inside wiring and left (and recommended I cancel).

I would hate to abandon this opportunity (especially since Insight would be a monopoly then), but I'm not sure what to really blame here. Everything I read from his meter showed that my line syncing fine around 30Mbit. Any suggestions guys?

If I could make this work I would jump on AT&T purely based on the lack of contracts I'd have to sign up for.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


KomradeVirtunov posted:

You know, I have a bit of a U-Verse situation at the moment.

I recently tried to switch to U-Verse from Insight because of all of the crazy rebates they were offering, ran through a few minor hurdles before we hooked up the gateway. Gateway couldn't detect any sort of signal, so the technician would hook up his meter (JDSU) and test the line to see if he could sync. It would sync and test successfully in about 25 seconds, numbers were great even though I'm on the outer limits from the nearest VRAD (3500ft). As soon as he'd hook the modem back up again it wouldn't do a thing. We went through 2 other modems and tested the lines a few times (they tested fine each time). The tech called foul on the inside wiring and left (and recommended I cancel).

I would hate to abandon this opportunity (especially since Insight would be a monopoly then), but I'm not sure what to really blame here. Everything I read from his meter showed that my line syncing fine around 30Mbit. Any suggestions guys?

If I could make this work I would jump on AT&T purely based on the lack of contracts I'd have to sign up for.

How was the VDSL getting to the modem? Over the Coax or twisted pair? Where were you testing? Outside at the box? at the jack? Did he leave the equipment with you?

d3rt
Jul 11, 2004

Mandate.

In Australia, they recommend getting an electrician to install a central filter and fix your internal wiring.

Tux Racer
Dec 24, 2005


Kreeblah posted:

So, here's the thing. Consumer connections are oversold. All of them. DSL, cable, dial-up, whatever, it doesn't matter.

This is not necessarily true AT&T stopped offering DSL in the area I lived in until they could upgrade their infrastructure to support it. By that I mean, they put a cap on the number of customers they would serve in my area to make sure that everyone was getting their advertised rates.

AmericanCitizen
Nov 25, 2003

I am the ass-kickin clown that'll twist you like a balloon animal. I will beat your head against this bumper until the airbags deploy.

KomradeVirtunov posted:

You know, I have a bit of a U-Verse situation at the moment.

I recently tried to switch to U-Verse from Insight because of all of the crazy rebates they were offering, ran through a few minor hurdles before we hooked up the gateway. Gateway couldn't detect any sort of signal, so the technician would hook up his meter (JDSU) and test the line to see if he could sync. It would sync and test successfully in about 25 seconds, numbers were great even though I'm on the outer limits from the nearest VRAD (3500ft). As soon as he'd hook the modem back up again it wouldn't do a thing. We went through 2 other modems and tested the lines a few times (they tested fine each time). The tech called foul on the inside wiring and left (and recommended I cancel).

I would hate to abandon this opportunity (especially since Insight would be a monopoly then), but I'm not sure what to really blame here. Everything I read from his meter showed that my line syncing fine around 30Mbit. Any suggestions guys?

If I could make this work I would jump on AT&T purely based on the lack of contracts I'd have to sign up for.

That's strange. Was he testing inside or outside the house? If he could sync up at exactly the same location that he was plugging the modem into, but the modems couldn't, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

That being said, I've been through 2 Uverse installs now and both were very pleasant, painless experiences. Both install techs were knowledgeable, polite, and efficient, and the service has been as-advertised.

I think that AT&T must be crapping its pants over the fact that between the cable and wireless companies giving people options for voice service, their old business model centered on having a monopoly on the copper is falling apart.

They seem to be taking the "improved customer experience" route towards keeping their customer base, which is so unexpected that I still haven't been able to fully process that information.

Tux Racer posted:

This is not necessarily true AT&T stopped offering DSL in the area I lived in until they could upgrade their infrastructure to support it. By that I mean, they put a cap on the number of customers they would serve in my area to make sure that everyone was getting their advertised rates.

"Oversold" means that they don't have the infrastructure to support everyone using 100% of their advertised connection speed all at one time. There's nothing wrong with that, that's just how it has to work, otherwise you just have tons of capacity sitting idle almost all the time because that scenario basically never happens.

It sounds like they stopped selling service in that area until they could get their infrastructure up to a level that would make it seem that they weren't overselling, which is pretty much where they should be.

AmericanCitizen fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2010 around 04:43

KomradeVirtunov
Sep 14, 2007


skipdogg posted:

How was the VDSL getting to the modem? Over the Coax or twisted pair? Where were you testing? Outside at the box? at the jack? Did he leave the equipment with you?

We did it over twisted pair because my pre-existing service was over coax at the time, the apartment wiring is CAT3 I believe. The testing was being done from the same patch cable that was being run into the gateway inside the apartment. The technician did leave the equipment with me, the only additional thing I've done since the technician left is to switch out the patch cable with another running to the gateway.

The 2WIRE gateway just seems to sit at "looking for signal" no matter what.

AmericanCitizen
Nov 25, 2003

I am the ass-kickin clown that'll twist you like a balloon animal. I will beat your head against this bumper until the airbags deploy.

KomradeVirtunov posted:

We did it over twisted pair because my pre-existing service was over coax at the time, the apartment wiring is CAT3 I believe. The testing was being done from the same patch cable that was being run into the gateway inside the apartment. The technician did leave the equipment with me, the only additional thing I've done since the technician left is to switch out the patch cable with another running to the gateway.

The 2WIRE gateway just seems to sit at "looking for signal" no matter what.

It seems like it would be worth a call to their support people before giving up, they may be able to roll out a higher level tech to try and figure out what's up.

DaNzA
Sep 11, 2001

:D


It has as much fiber as your cellphone.

Also looking by some posts on the broadbandreport forum, it shows the speed can be slowed when the dslam is congested, even though the signal and sync rate was perfect.

Tux Racer
Dec 24, 2005


AmericanCitizen posted:

"Oversold" means that they don't have the infrastructure to support everyone using 100% of their advertised connection speed all at one time. There's nothing wrong with that, that's just how it has to work, otherwise you just have tons of capacity sitting idle almost all the time because that scenario basically never happens.

It sounds like they stopped selling service in that area until they could get their infrastructure up to a level that would make it seem that they weren't overselling, which is pretty much where they should be.

All I know is that when the upgrade did happen, we had the advertised 1 meg download connection at all times. It was never lower. By the way we subscribed as soon as AT&T started offering in our area. Where I am now at college, we are paying the local cable company for a 6 meg connection. We never get above 1. Never. I will gladly pay for something from a DSL provider that is slightly less than the advertised speed at certain times than this piece of poo poo company that never gives me anything close to the advertised speed. Unfortunately this cable company has a monopoly on the market. AT&T actually has to go through them.

n0tqu1tesane
May 7, 2003

She was rubbing her ass all over my hands. They don't just do that for everyone.

I've had U-Verse since October, and love it. The internet has been rock solid and much, much, much better than the Comcast I had before. They do force you to use their residential gateway as your router, but I've got a Tomato'd wrt54g behind it and it works well.

I also have the TV, and it's the best I've seen as far as features and channels. I like it better than DirecTV, Comcast, and Charter, all of which I've had at one point or another. Also, according to Microsoft's CES presentation, you'll be able to use your XBox 360 as a set-top-box sometime in the future.

AnnoyBot posted:

I've had it in San Jose since it was first available, some time in 2008. I have absolutely no complaints except the DVR only has about 78 seconds (I mean 30 hours) of HD recording capacity and is absolutely not upgradable from what little info I can find.

The newer Cisco DVRs have 65 hours of HD recording capacity.

DEUCE SLUICE
Feb 6, 2004

I dreamt I was an old dog, stuck in a honeypot. It was horrifying.


Just posting as another very satisfied U-verse customer. I pay for 6/1 and get 5.79/.95, the 100 channel package has everything worth watching, and almost all the channels are in HD. Love it.

The provided 2Wire router has been a little spotty on the wireless end, but otherwise the provided hardware is good too.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


KomradeVirtunov posted:

We did it over twisted pair because my pre-existing service was over coax at the time, the apartment wiring is CAT3 I believe. The testing was being done from the same patch cable that was being run into the gateway inside the apartment. The technician did leave the equipment with me, the only additional thing I've done since the technician left is to switch out the patch cable with another running to the gateway.

The 2WIRE gateway just seems to sit at "looking for signal" no matter what.

Well first off it sounds like you got a lovely install tech. He's not supposed to just leave the equipment there with you.

Call 1800-288-2020 which is the support number and tell them about your 'incomplete install' (thats a key word the support agent will trigger on). If you run into problems with support, PM me and I can get someone in touch with you. They need to send a senior tech out there and get this hooked up right.

If you want to mess around with it on your own, you can try this trick. Go into the MDC of the box @ http://192.168.1.254/mdc, under broadband link, hit configure and set it to the settings below.

AmericanCitizen
Nov 25, 2003

I am the ass-kickin clown that'll twist you like a balloon animal. I will beat your head against this bumper until the airbags deploy.

n0tqu1tesane posted:

They do force you to use their residential gateway as your router, but I've got a Tomato'd wrt54g behind it and it works well.

This is another key point. If you use the "DMZplus" mode on the 2wire router and turn off the wireless, it makes it into a simple IP bridge in every way that matters. The phone and TV devices still plug into the 2wire, which lets them be properly prioritized without you having to fool with it, and whatever router you plug in becomes the firewall, AP, etc. of your internal network.

It gains you a lot of flexibility and takes you out of the situation where the firewall protecting your network is something that AT&T can connect into and mess with from the outside, which is a good thing if you're concerned with a secure network and are competent to manage that part yourself.

KomradeVirtunov
Sep 14, 2007


skipdogg posted:

Well first off it sounds like you got a lovely install tech. He's not supposed to just leave the equipment there with you.

Call 1800-288-2020 which is the support number and tell them about your 'incomplete install' (thats a key word the support agent will trigger on). If you run into problems with support, PM me and I can get someone in touch with you. They need to send a senior tech out there and get this hooked up right.

If you want to mess around with it on your own, you can try this trick. Go into the MDC of the box @ http://192.168.1.254/mdc, under broadband link, hit configure and set it to the settings below.



Thanks for the help skipdogg (and others!), I'll give the support group a call tomorrow. I've unfortunately already been through the console settings and tried setting them manually.

KomradeVirtunov fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2010 around 05:29

Panthrax
Jul 12, 2001
I'm gonna hit you until candy comes out.

My parents have had U-Verse for a year or two, and haven't had many problems. There were some issues, but they eventually got worked out. They've also gotten like 6 months of free HBO, the first 3 months were for the issues prior, and the next 3 months, I'm not really sure why, but she called support for a billing thing, and gave her 3 more months.

I've had U-verse in my apartment for about a month and a half, and haven't had any issues (except one... get to that in a sec). Internet is fast, TV is good. They're even going to mail me $350 in prepaid credit cards, and my parents will be getting a $100 referral credit. They seem to take their customer service seriously.

Anyway, the problems I'm having is with my DVR, and I have a feeling it has to do with the HDMI connection, but it's pretty annoying. I assume switching to component will fix it, but I don't really want to do that. When I turn the TV and DVR on, sometimes I'll get either no audio and picture, or only a picture, no audio. If I turn both off and back on once or twice, it'll be fixed. I assume the HDMI isn't syncing correctly or fast enough between the TV and DVR, since I see the blue HD light on the DVR flick on and off a couple times. Not a huge deal, but annoying regardless. My parents had the same problem, and after listing to them bitch about it, I replaced the HDMI with component, and it hasn't been a problem since. Anyone have any suggestions on this? Or just deal with it and keep power cycling?

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


The HDMI is a known bug, and at this time the only answer is to go component. What's weird is it works perfect on my TV. It seems to be worse on some TV's. They're working on it, the theory is it's a software bug on Microsoft's side, but don't quote me on that.

The support is EXTREMELY serious in AT&T land. They know whats at risk if this fails and will ridiculously bend over backwards to make their customers happy.

wolrah
May 8, 2006
what?


Do the FTTP installations get exempted from the stream limit or are they still stuck to 4x SD or 3x SD + 1x HD?

wolrah fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2010 around 06:29

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


wolrah posted:

Do the FTTP installations get exempted from the stream limit or are they still stuck to one HD stream at a time just like the rest? (I know two HD streams are being trialed, but at the moment most users can only get one).

2HD's have been live for some time, and they're now trialing a new 32mbit/5mbit sync profile (see my cap above) and 3HD streams/1SD stream. Most users should have a 2HD/2SD profile, with 3HD/1SD being tested in a few markets right now. Unfortunately FTTP only gets whatever the normal copper guys can get.

*caveat some people at long distances from the VRAD may only qualify for 1 HD stream and a reduced 19mbit/1mbit vdsl sync profile. Usually when that happens we'll offer to disconnect the service since we can't provide all the features, but some people choose to keep it. (there are people out there that hate the cable company....alot)

GhostShirtSociety
Jun 6, 2009

Television. Doesn't it make you want to kick things?

kitten smoothie posted:

U-Verse customer here in St. Louis. I love it. AT&T was offering double in rebates what it would cost to buy out my DirecTV contract, so I switched.

I'm on their 24/3 internet package and I've had no problem getting close to that speed as advertised:



Christ I'm on AT&T DSL and all I get is:



$30 a month and at times the speed kills me but it's the fastest they have available (or so they tell me) despite being an hour away from Kansas City...

d3rt
Jul 11, 2004

Mandate.

spcefrk posted:

Christ I'm on AT&T DSL and all I get is:



$30 a month and at times the speed kills me but it's the fastest they have available (or so they tell me) despite being an hour away from Kansas City...

You could have a line fault or there is extra noise on the line. Have you tried an isolation test? Or you could just have a really long phone line.

Ryokurin
Jul 14, 2001

Wanna Die?

They just got around to offering it where I live but I'm about to move and I doubt it will show up any time soon as it's a more 'ethnic' part of town. I really hope that they get around to offering it all over Atlanta instead of the the more affluent areas but I'm not holding my breath. Hopefully I'm wrong as they are finally advertising it by name instead of just calling it "Advanced TV" like they were before.

Tux Racer posted:

This is not necessarily true AT&T stopped offering DSL in the area I lived in until they could upgrade their infrastructure to support it. By that I mean, they put a cap on the number of customers they would serve in my area to make sure that everyone was getting their advertised rates.

Not having space in the central office is not the same as not having the bandwidth to support it. Anyhow, at least in the former Bellsouth Areas, at&t should be well aware of what a house is capable of getting as just before they sold out Bellsouth made sure that something like 90% of their customers was within 3000 feet of a DSLAM so just about everyone should be able to get at least 6m of sync there (unless you truly live in the middle of nowhere or you got something else funky going on) this is also the main reason why at&t started focusing more in that area on getting uverse deployed.

Gettin back on the point, think of the sync as like a LAN connection at your house. it may be 100m in your house but your connection outside is whatever your ISP is giving you. in this case, you got 6m of bandwidth to the central office, but if they don't have enough bandwidth there you still aren't going to get that full amount to your home.

Nukelear v.2
Jun 25, 2004
My optional title text

skipdogg posted:

The HDMI is a known bug, and at this time the only answer is to go component. What's weird is it works perfect on my TV. It seems to be worse on some TV's. They're working on it, the theory is it's a software bug on Microsoft's side, but don't quote me on that.

The support is EXTREMELY serious in AT&T land. They know whats at risk if this fails and will ridiculously bend over backwards to make their customers happy.

I have this bug in my bedroom. The fun part is that when you switch to component the the bright blue 'HD' LED stays on permanently even when the unit is off, having one of these on in a room you sleep in is annoying as hell. Only thing you can do is stick some tape over it or try to scribble on it with a sharpy to tone it down.


Uverse is pretty awesome on the whole though, IP tv is slick and is only going to get better. At CES they announced coming support for Xbox360 and hinted at PC clients to come.

n0tqu1tesane
May 7, 2003

She was rubbing her ass all over my hands. They don't just do that for everyone.

Nukelear v.2 posted:

I have this bug in my bedroom. The fun part is that when you switch to component the the bright blue 'HD' LED stays on permanently even when the unit is off, having one of these on in a room you sleep in is annoying as hell. Only thing you can do is stick some tape over it or try to scribble on it with a sharpy to tone it down.

Yeah, the STB in our bedroom has electrical tape over the LEDs. HDMI would occasionally lose audio, so I had to swap it to component.

Scorponok
May 13, 2002

No... not without incident.

I'm on u-verse; it's good, but not quite as good as the Comcast service I had in my old apartment (approximately half the speed for a similar price). Based on what some other people here have said, there's probably no way to find out which is better without trying both, unfortunately.

DEUCE SLUICE
Feb 6, 2004

I dreamt I was an old dog, stuck in a honeypot. It was horrifying.


Has anyone tried using powerline ethernet or wireless bridges to get a STB to somewhere without running ethernet cable?

Xenomorph
Jun 13, 2001


To the OP: What VoIP services have you used?

I've had Vonage since 2008, and my previous employer would sell the hell out of VoIP services that we used in the office (Cisco).

I've used it with AT&T DSL (6 Mbps) and Charter Cable (5 Mbps, then 10 Mbps).

I've never experienced any quality issues with VoIP. Services like Vonage use about 30 Kbps (actual bandwidth is around 3 KB/sec). There is a special dial code (hit *-something) before making a call to kick that up to 90 Kbps if you want to use a Dial-Up modem connection over the VoIP (to send a fax or something, which I've done already). The only "gotcha" with Vonage that I've had is that prices have risen about $3 since signing up with them.

The little Vonage router they give you does QoS if you want it to handle your connection completely, or if you continue to use your regular router (and I have a WRT54G that I'd prefer to use) you may be able to use QoS on that. I simply gave the MAC of my Vonage router the highest priority back when I got it, and have never had to give it a second thought.

I've been on half a dozen active torrents before (capped at 900 KB/sec), played Left 4 Dead 2 with good ping, all the while someone was using the phone. I've never experienced an issue with call quality. Not one issue with sound, static, dropped calls, or anything else.

VoIP gives such great flexibility. When I moved, I just hooked up the box at the new location and had my home number there. No need to call the phone company and worry about getting a new number or area code or whatever.

I would never switch back to "real" phone service again. VoIP is just so much better, and so much cheaper. AT&T charged me around $35-$40 a month to have a basic phone line with no long distance and NO extras, and would change my number depending on where I moved to and what plan I had (Six different numbers in 10 years. THANKS). Vonage gives me local, long distance, caller ID, call waiting, and all the other bells and whistles, will NEVER change my number, all for $25.

I pay just $64.99 a month and get this (2-year price lock. $25 Vonage + $39.99 Charter. TOTAL, all fees included):

- 10-20 Mbps down, 2 Mbps up Internet connection.
- Virtually unlimited local and long distance calling, with features like Voice mails go to my email and cell phone (so I can check them anywhere).
- about 20 high definition channels
- around 70 analog channels
- ALL TVs hooked up and a phone in nearly every room.

Where I live now (outside of south city, St. Louis), Charter is the only service available. No DSL, no U-verse. So everyone on my street is using the same Charter connection if they have broadband, and I've hit 2.3 MB/sec downloads before, so I know there is enough bandwidth.
I use to be very pro-DSL, but Charter has been very trouble-free and fast.

If AT&T does finally bring U-verse here (and I just got an email that U-verse has finally arrived this month at one of my old addresses), I may take a look at it (only for Internet and TV, probably NOT for phone service), but I've been happier than I ever expected to be with Charter and Vonage.

MrBond
Feb 19, 2004

FYI, Cheese NIPS are not the same as Cheez ITS

Strange, I heard from a friend that Uverse in SF looked crap-tacular compared to Comcast HD. Pixelation and compression effects everywhere apparently.

qutius
Apr 2, 2003
NO PARTIES


I've really been enjoying the U-Verse service I've got. Internet + TV (no voice), insane rebates, more channels in HD and similar internet speeds for less money, and absolutely no downtime. I haven't had any billing issues, haven't had a need to contact support, or any other problems - couldn't say that about Charter in the past.

I'm no expert when it comes to TV picture quality, but things look sharp and the DVR is massive. The UI is nice and I'm interested to see how it will work with the xbox 360 later on this year.

The gateway is a bit annoying, but at least you can run it in bridge mode like others have said.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


MrBond posted:

Strange, I heard from a friend that Uverse in SF looked crap-tacular compared to Comcast HD. Pixelation and compression effects everywhere apparently.

This seems to depend on the person looking at it and the service provider. Time Warner here in San Antonio was poo poo. My U-Verse looks 10 times better than that crap did. They've also upgraded/changed the codec twice since they started HD. It gets better each time around. I think Dish Network has a better HD picture than U-Verse though, probably because they can use a different codec and aren't as bandwidth limited as U-Verse is.

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devmd01
Mar 7, 2006

This hat isn't the only
thing that's big

I have U-Verse in my current apartment, and the house we'll likely be buying also has u-verse, so I'm happy about that. Been nothing but happy about the service, customer support, and equipment. The NAT table and DNS lookups can be slow on occasion, but that's usually when I'm hitting the connection hard. Picture quality is acceptable, but as other people have mentioned on occasion it's not the greatest. 2HD/2SD here, with 6mbit internet and no VOIP.

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